My journey in creating optical illusion tiles began with drawing out the design directly onto slabs of terracotta. I then created different shades of slip with the use of iron oxide to colour each section: bringing the illusions to life. Although this was fairly rudimentary, it was a start and I was very excited by the possibilities looming.
The next step involved me stepping outside of my comfort zone. I challenged myself with laser cutting Perspex shapes to then cast, resulting in a press mould. This would mean I’d get the same shape tile every time, and saves me a lot of hours measuring out designs into clay slabs.
I am now able to use illustrator in the future as a vital part of the design process, furthermore, I am comfortable using the laser cutter as a method to cut out precise shapes.
For my first outcome, I’m pretty happy with these. They have a flat surface, and that’s thanks to using pespex as the original I material I casted. They need some work, I want them to be sharper, pointier, however as a start I am very happy, and this project has a lot of potential. The next stop for me is to develop the moulds into two parts, making the tile production. Slip casting process.
In my head I have a picture of what I want he tile collection to look like, I just need to hone in on my technical skills in order to make this a reality.
After completing the final phase of glazing, I have decided that I definitely want to use the spray gun to apply glaze. I know this extremely early on in the process to be making this final decision, but I know that it will lend to the optical illusion idea, I think brush marks will take away from this giving the tiles too much of a painterly, rustic look. I am very happy with the choice of colour though, I am of course going to carry on using blue, it’s my favourite colour do with with in ceramics, so my next task is to develop particular colours.
I am keen to go down the encaustic tile root and make coloured slips. This is an old tradition in tile making and ensures that when I sand tiles after bisque firing them, the colour will be all the way through, so I won’t be sanding away any patterns, only revealing them.